Book Review | The Apple Pie That Papa Baked by Lauren Thompson

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A very delightful and sweet story. The Apple pie – a sweet treat that father prepares for his daughter, tells us the sweetest love in this big world. Thompson tells the story in a cumulative form, and the fascinating part is that the cumulative form goes backwards yet Bean’s illustrations go forward in time visually. The text begins with the apples (“These are the apples, juicy and red, that went in the pie, warm and sweet, that Papa baked”) and then moves on to the tree that grew the fruit, its roots, the rain, the clouds, the sky, the sun, and finally the world (“blooming with life”).  You see Papa picking apples, baking the pie, and coming with his daughter for a picnic under that very apple tree.

Bean’s fine folk-style illustrations were drawn in black, brown yellow and a bit red, the simple palette wonderfully complement this emotional tale. Colors help set the mood of each spread, and the scribbly style lends the illustrations a slightly retro feel. In the ending while the text goes far and far to encompass the whole world, the illustrations focus down and down onto the apple pie shared by father and daughter in a homey setting, leading the story to its sweet conclusion. A delightful and engaging read, a charming and sweet story for little ones and parents.

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